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FC St. Pauli beat FC Ingolstadt 4-1 on Sunday afternoon to make it four home wins out of four in front of 13,917 fans at the Millerntor. After being denied several times by the impressive Fabijan Buntić in the Ingolstadt goal, the Boys in Brown took a deserved lead through Luca Zander in the 34th minute. Maximilian Dittgen made it 2-0 after the interval and Guido Burgstaller added a third before Merlin Röhl pulled one back for the visitors, only for Christopher Buchtmann to restore his side's three-goal advantage just moments later.

Head coach Timo Schultz made four changes to the side that lost by the only goal at Hannover last week. Philipp Ziereis returned from suspension in place of James Lawrence, who dropped to the bench, and Luca Zander began at right-back instead of Jannes Wieckhoff, who is ill. Finn Ole Becker missed out due to a groin problem and was replaced by Jackson Irvine on his first start for the club, while Maximilian Dittgen got the nod over Simon Makienok. A range of accessible matchday services were launched for the game, including sign language interpreting of the lineups on the vidiwall. The game also marked the return of Ultrá Sankt Pauli for the first time since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic to fill the South Stand and turn the atmosphere up another notch.

The Boys in Brown took to the perfectly manicured Millerntor turf wearing their new third kit for the first time and neither side wasted time with the customary opening formalities, raining in shots from the outset. Efforts from Daniel-Kofi Kyereh and Maximilian Dittgen lacked the necessary precision, however, while Jakov Medić got a decisive deflection on a shot from Merlin Röhl, all in the first five minutes.

There was plenty of pace, commitment and energy on display from both teams, though some wayward passing made for a scrappy opening overall. It took a set piece to produce the first meaningful opportunity in front of goal in the 11th minute when Leart Paqarada dispatched a free-kick into the box and found Jakov Medić, whose header forced an excellent save from Fabijan Buntić. The FCI keeper was on hand again eight minutes later to keep out a powerful Dittgen header from a ball in by Jackson Irvine, reacting quickly to turn the ball over the crossbar. Timo Schultz's side continued to press, and when Kyereh met Paqarada's low cutback from a corner first time, he was denied by that man Buntić again. Soon after, Irvine rifled a shot into the South Stand from distance.

The Boys in Brown were dominant by this stage, stifling any attempts by the visitors to catch them on the break yet unable to capitalise due to more sloppy passing. With the chances drying up, it took a set piece to break the deadlock. Paqarada delivered a corner into the danger area, where Zander outjumped Tobias Schröck to power a bullet header into the net and give his side a 34th minute lead. The joy over the opener almost proved short-lived, however. Patrick Schmidt popped up unmarked in front of Nikola Vasilj, only to place his shot too high when looking odds on to score. After Medić had headed a Paqarada corner wide and Dittgen had been frustrated by another fine stop from Buntić, the referee blew his whistle to end an exciting first 45 minutes.

Packed at last: the standing section in the South Stand.

Packed at last: the standing section in the South Stand.

The two teams emerged unchanged for the second half, with the first chance going to the visitors. Denis Linsmayer directed a perfect ball into the path of Schmidt, but the striker again hit his shot too high. Three minutes later, Dittgen showed him how it was done at the other end, heading an exquisite Paqarada cross into the bottom right corner from seven metres. Buntić had no chance – 2-0! The visitors brushed themselves down and again came close to finding an immediate response, but Eckert Ayensa's curling effort missed the far post by a whisker.

The Boys in Brown continued to dictate the play, as in the first half, and fashioned another chance on 58 minutes when Dittgen squared the ball to Marcel Hartel just outside the box. His shot did not clear the crossbar by much. The home crowd did not have long to wait for the third goal to materialise, however. Kyereh diverted the ball towards the penalty spot with a back-header and the onrushing Guido Burgstaller had acres of space in which to find the bottom right-hand corner.

Ingolstadt responded with three substitutions, while Christopher Buchtmann and Rico Benatelli entered the fray for Hartel and Burgstaller. And with 72 minutes gone, the Millerntor was shocked into momentary silence when the visitors reduced the deficit, Merlin Röhl's shot taking a wicked deflection off captain Philipp Ziereis to leave Nikola Vasilj powerless. The ground was soon a cauldron of noise again, however, as the Boys in Brown restored their three-goal lead within 60 seconds of conceding. The ball made its way to Buchtmann via Benatelli and Kyereh and the midfielder advanced a few metres before finding the bottom right-hand corner with a pinpoint low drive. "That's the way, aha aha, we like it" echoed round the Millerntor – and who could disagree?

As the game entered the closing stages, Lars Ritzka came on for Leart Paqarada. Eckert Ayensa then had another chance to pull one back for the visitors, but with only Vasilj to beat he steered his shot past the right-hand upright. Schultz ran down the clock with the introduction of Adam Dźwigała and Marcel Beifus for Jakov Medić and Luca Zander, and moments after Kyereh had been denied yet again by Buntić, referee Frank Willenborg ended the proceedings. All in all, it was a convincing 4-1 victory that lifted the Boys in Brown into third place in the table and fully merited the standing ovation it received.

FC St. Pauli

Vasilj - Zander (Dźwigała 86'), Ziereis, Medić (Beifus 86'), Paqarada (Ritzka 80') - Aremu, Irvine, Hartel (Benatelli 66'), Kyereh - Dittgen, Burgstaller (Buchtmann 66')

Head coach: Timo Schultz


FC Ingolstadt 04

Buntić - Heinloth, Röseler, Schröck, Poulsen (Franke 62') - Röhl, Linsmayer (Preissinger 82') - Gebauer (Boujellab 62'), Bilbija (Hawkins 89') - Eckert Ayensa, Schmidt (Kaya 62')

Head coach: Roberto Pätzold


Goals: 1-0 Zander (34'), 2-0 Dittgen (50'), 3-0 Burgstaller (61'), 3-1 Röhl (72'), 4-1 Buchtmann (73')

Yellow cards: Röhl

Referee: Frank Willenborg (Osnabrück)

Attendance: 13,917


Photos: FC St. Pauli